• David Williams


January 27, 2022, Paper: "While racial/ethnic oral health inequities have been documented for many years in the United States, the potential role of racism has not been examined until recently. In fact, the common practice has been to attribute racial/ethnic disparities in oral health to low socioeconomic position and/or the lack of access to care. In contrast, racism is considered a fundamental cause of a broad range of adverse health outcomes for racial/ethnic minorities. Emerging evidence on oral health suggests that racism can affect access to oral health and clinical decision-making by acting as a social determinant of health (SDoH). Specifically, SDoHs may affect access to quality dental care due to the lack of dental insurance, low dentist-population ratio in racial/ethnic minority communities and the lack of diversity in the dental profession. We describe potential mechanisms through which racism can affect important SDoHs that are essential to oral health equity, outline recommendations to mitigate its existing negative effects and propose interventions to minimize pathogenic effects of racism on oral health outcomes in the population."

Non-HKS Author Website - David R. Williams